NBA

Clippers fined over Leonard comments

By Sports Desk November 07, 2019

The Los Angeles Clippers were fined $50,000 by the NBA for "inconsistent" statements regarding Kawhi Leonard's health.

Leonard sat out the Clippers' 129-124 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday as his team manage his workload.

However, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said before the defeat that there was "no concern" about Leonard's health, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The NBA approved the Clippers' decision to manage the 28-year-old, but it fined the team for comments made about Leonard's fitness.

"Following additional review of the LA Clippers not playing Kawhi Leonard in last night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA has confirmed that the team's decision to sit Leonard for management of an injury was consistent with league rules," a statement read on Thursday.

"The team has reasonably determined that Leonard is suffering from an ongoing injury to the patella tendon in his left knee and has been placed by the team at this time on an injury protocol for back-to-back games.

"The NBA has fined the Clippers $50,000 for statements, including by head coach Doc Rivers, that were inconsistent with Leonard's health status."

The Clippers are 5-3 and face the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

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  • Kawhi glad he was targeted by former Raptors team-mates in Clippers triumph Kawhi glad he was targeted by former Raptors team-mates in Clippers triumph

    Kawhi Leonard was happy to receive special attention from his former Toronto Raptors team-mates as he overcame a mixed individual night in a valuable win for the Los Angeles Clippers.

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    Leonard, the Finals MVP with the Raptors last season, had his worst game since joining the Clippers, as he had a career-high nine turnovers and shot only 2-of-11 from the field.

    He was harassed by the Raptors (also now 7-3) throughout, often double-teamed and trapped as well as being challenged at half court.

    But Leonard felt the experience proved beneficial and produced some good moments as the game progressed, eventually finishing with a line of 12 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

    "They made me better," Leonard told reporters. "As soon as I walked across half court, they were trying to get the ball out of my hands, sending an extra defender. 

    "[Opponents] are going to do it at times in the playoffs and regular season and they [Clippers team-mates] are going to knock down the open shot. That's what wins games: open shots. We came out with the win. 

    "They did a great job on me - but I'm glad they did. It made me better and it's going to make my team-mates better as well.

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    Leonard acknowledged facing the Raptors is always going to feel a little different given he remains on good terms with head coach Nick Nurse and much of the roster.

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    "We grew a relationship," Leonard added. "It's just fun being able to compete against guys you were with last year. 

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    "But no, why would I think about last season? It's over now, we won. 

    "Like I said before, I had a great time here and it's the next chapter. I can't live in the past and be so excited that I won [a championship]. 

    "I won with a different team, a different unit. They want to have that same feeling and I do as well. I'm a Clipper right now and I'm trying to win."

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    Asked if it was strange seeing Leonard on the other side, Nurse replied: "A little bit.

    "We obviously went full guns on all the coverages of him to make life difficult for him and we did a good job on him, but he got some good transition buckets in the fourth, made some big shots for them when they needed him, which is what he does."

    Nurse believes the Raptors, who lost OG Anunoby to an eye injury early on, were unfortunate to suffer a loss which leaves them at 7-3 for the season, all three of their defeats coming on the road.

    He said of Toronto's performance: "They were good. Our guys played their guts out, we totally outplayed them I thought.

    "We were playing harder, we were executing better, we were creating a lot of problems for them but just not quite enough."

     

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